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eLearning and Networking Goals

Our challenge: Connecting busy people from multiple sectors. 

Changing flow of resources.

* Read Stephen Downes article about 'Connectivism' and Connective Knowledge' , then

* Join Tutor/Mentor Institute and network on Social Media sites.

Using maps, charts, on-line learning and networking and other forms of face-to-face and web based communications, the T/MC aim is to focus daily attention on issues of poverty and strategies that connect those who can help with those who need help.  We hope to educate volunteers and donors to be shoppers, who search the list of Chicago volunteer-based tutor and/or mentor programs to find places where they give time, talent and dollars to help expand the network of support for inner city kids attending poorly performing schools.

By showing what's possible, we hope to move corporations, foundations, media and organizations that already operate youth development, tutoring and/or mentoring programs beyond what they are doing to what they can be doing.  In doing this we and others who join us, are applying the ideas of 'Connectivism' in our work.

In Chicago we're facing a growing number of killings of inner-city youth.  While the papers are bringing this back to the headlines, this is a problem with poverty at its root, which has been a problem in Chicago and other major cities for decades.

There is no quick fix. Yet, had public and private leaders in Chicago been consistently working toward developing volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in high poverty neighborhoods, since 1994 when the Tutor/Mentor Connection was created, perhaps there would be more of these programs in high poverty areas, and fewer young people choosing destructive behaviors as a way to express themselves.

Since that has not happened, we're in a start over mode, as this 2017 blog article illustrates.


Following are key concepts that we seek to incorporate in on-going learning and networking:

a) convergence - tutoring, mentoring, education-to-careers, youth development, etc. mean different things to different people, depending on the economic and social isolation of the people being served.  Social workers, businesses, educators, prevention, etc. each look at solutions differently, or fund different programs.  Yet they are all part of the actions needed to help individual kids move from poverty to careers. Our goal is to draw people from different strands of service into collaborations that deliver multiple services from central sites in neighborhoods where such services are needed.  A power point that illustrates this concept can be found at  Creating a Learning & Collaboration Network

b) out of the box learning - while many efforts are aimed at improving what happens at schools during the school day, our efforts focus on increasing the variety of tutoring, mentoring and learning opportunities that are available in every poverty area and near every poorly performing school during non-school hours, on weekends and in the summer. Links in the Tutor/Mentor library demonstrate the many different types of learning and mentoring opportunities that are working in some parts of the world which could be working in many other places.  Links in the T/MC web library can help you learn more about the types of innovation and collaboration we seek to encourage.

c) eLearning and Collaboration - The T/MC believes that the Internet offers the only hope of gathering millions of people in on-going learning, networking and collaboration that is essential to make more and better tutoring/mentoring and learning opportunities available in all places where they are needed. The Internet can be used to distribute knowledge, build collaboration, and help youth and leaders find resources to help them achieve any goal.  The following power point illustrates this goal:
eLearning and Collaboration

d) Leadership Development - our goal is to help develop leaders for volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs all over the world.  By connecting people who operate such programs with researchers, educators and business leaders, we seek to connect knowledge and partners in a process that leads to a formal education program at one or more universities in the world. Such a program will teach people to use the Internet effectively to learn from each other, to learn to collaborate, and to learn ways to build and sustain effective, volunteer-based tutoring and mentoring-to-career programs where ever they are needed. The goal is to train leaders who will be volunteers, as well as leaders who become the staff and directors of programs.  If we can grow a network of business, foundation and public leaders who use their visibility and resources to support the growth of tutor/mentor programs, we can dramatically improve the availability and impact of these programs.  Read Role of Leaders. Read this Tipping Point blog article.  Read articles inviting universities to build on-campus Tutor/Mentor Connection strategies.

e) Sustainability - The first four goals lead to this fifth goal.  The discussion focuses on innovating ways to distribute needed resources  (volunteers, dollars, technology, leaders, etc.) on a continuous and flexible basis to all places where kids need extra help that tutor/mentor programs can provide. The Tutor/Mentor library aggregates links to innovative sustainability strategies from one part of the country with the goal that others will share this information with people in other parts of the country.  Read about T/MC Use of GIS Maps to Create a Better Distribution of Resources throughout a large City

Summary:  If we can build a growing network of people and organizations who will communicate and share ideas on a regular basis, we can focus a more consistent attention on all parts of the world where help is needed, and hopefully, stabilize the flow of resources, so that programs in multiple locations can grow from good to great, and then stay great for many years.  In this type of vision there are funds for on-going operations of needed social benefit organizations, and their are emergency funds to provide relief when a tragedy hits some place in the world and where massive amounts of support are needed. This concept map shows how Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC is trying to build this growing network and where help is needed.

Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, c/o Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il. 60654 Phone. Skype #dbassill; FAX 312-787-7713; email: tutormentor2@earthlink.net | Powered by OpenSource!